Raskin: Jan. 6 report reveals ‘real threats to democracy’ but also ‘real heroism’

▶ Watch Video: Raskin says Jan. 6 report reveals “real villainy” but also “real heroism”

Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Democrat who served on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, says their final report reveals very real threats to democracy — but also a “strong resurgent democratic spirit” in America today. 

“It’s a story of some real villainy and some real danger to democracy, but also of real heroism and commitment to American democratic freedom,” Raskin said in an interview with Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.” “And with democracy under attack all over the world, like with Putin invading Ukraine and the Ukrainian people standing up for their democratic freedom, and tyrants and autocrats on the march everywhere, it’s good to know that we have a strong resurgent democratic spirit in America.”

After an almost two-year investigation, the committee recommended four criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding an insurrection. It is not clear if the Justice Department will act on the referral. Last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to lead its investigation.

Raskin said the charges are called for “because of the magnitude of the attack on democracy.”

“There was a deliberate attempt by Donald Trump to interfere and obstruct and impede a federal proceeding,” he said. “…There was a conspiracy to defraud the United States, to exchange an honest-to-goodness presidential election for a counterfeit election complete with fake electors, and forcible violence being used to overthrow the process.”

In a video posted on his social media platform, Trump denied the accusations, saying: “Most importantly, the ‘unselect committee’ did not produce a single shred of evidence that I in any way intended or wanted violence at our Capitol.”


Trump responds furiously to Jan. 6 House committee report


The committee raced to finish its work before the end of the year, with Republicans set to take control of the House in January.

The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress passed last week includes funding to help with the crushing caseload of more than 930 prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It also includes millions of dollars to bolster security for members of the House and Senate, following a rise in threats and the attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi at their home in San Francisco in October.

“There’s very dangerous rhetoric going on out there that’s a real break from everything we’ve known in our lifetimes,” Raskin said. “What it means to live in a democracy with basic civic respect is that people can disagree without resorting to violence. But the internet has played a negative role, especially for the right wing, the extreme right, which now engages in very dangerous hyperbolic rhetoric that exposes people to danger. 

“But democracy also requires courage,” he added. “I’m so impressed by the elected officials around the country who have stood up against all of the threats and all of the intimidation, and those people don’t get enough credit.”

Scott MacFarlane contributed reporting.

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